CYC and Covid-19 - Update 3

I have been reflecting overnight on how the Prime Minister's statement affects us as members of Cargreen Yacht Club.

He has clearly signalled a degree of relaxation of the lockdown and asks us to “Stay Alert”.

There has been much Press discussion about the meaning of this phrase; for me it means to be constantly alert to the risks to others of my individual actions.

An example is the risk that we ourselves may unwittingly transmit the disease. Many of you will know that COVID-19 presents in a myriad of ways beyond just fever and persistent cough. So, loss of smell, diarrhoea, fatigue or confusion could indicate that we ourselves have the illness and should encourage us to seek a swab test.

For me “Staying Alert” is also a reminder of how easy it is to not always manage to keep a suitable physical distance from others not in my household.

So what do these changes in policy mean in practice?

Social gatherings are still prohibited and our Clubhouse must remain closed to members.

Some of you will have boats on the moorings and their security will have been of concern to you. It is now my opinion that it is permissible to visit your boats to check the mooring arrangements and undertake essential work provided that you do this alone or with members of your household, staying alert to risk and maintaining an appropriate physical distance when you meet other members.

The RYA have today announced that, from Wednesday 13 May, unlimited outdoor activity will be permitted in England and believe that this will include all forms of boating. They stress that any activity will still need to be alone or with members of a single household and social distancing must be followed at all times.

HOWEVER, I think a note of caution is needed until we have seen the comprehensive document to be published today and have had a clear statement from Queen's Harbour Master, Plymouth.

Guidance for our Cadets is likely to emerge at the end of the week.

The use of personal watercraft would now appear to be permitted provided that social gatherings are avoided and strict physical distancing is maintained. We should be aware that Queen's Harbour Master, Plymouth was, until last week, preventing the use of personal watercraft in the lower reaches of the Tamar. If you do choose to use your kayak, canoe or paddleboard, I would suggest that you stay upstream of Weir Point and please stay alert to the risk that your actions may pose for others. This morning's wind, for example, would suggest that to engage in these activities or even to attempt to visit your boat on the moorings could be unwise and might place others at risk if you required assistance.

The West Country is at a much earlier stage in the evolution of the epidemic than other areas of the country and we should be aware that there may well be an upsurge in cases in our area in the weeks to come.

Seamanlike precaution is the order of the day.

With best wishes for your continued safety,
John, Commodore.
11 May 2020

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